Round up #207: Russian sex education, the mile high book club

Round up #207: Russian sex education, the mile high book club

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later. 

K(atherine) A. Applegate morphs into a new deal at HarperCollins

When my adult kid was younger, I read all of the books in the Animorphs series. Sure, my kid was reading them first, and I did get into it for that reason, but I enjoyed the putatively young adult series about kids who can change into animals (there is a lot more to it than that). In fact, my kid gave them to me, and the p-book (paperbook) copies are in my library…more than fifty of them.

That certainly would have been a big enough hit for one author, but Katherine Applegate has continued to grow and impress.

In fact, The One and Only Ivan one the Newbery medal this year…more than a decade and a half after the first Animorphs book.

So, it’s exciting to me to see in this

Publishers Weekly article by Sally Lodge

that Applegate has signed a deal to do a new series…and the premise sounds intriguing.

I recommend the article: you’ll get a sense of why editors still matter.

On the other hand, this

Publishers Weekly article by Marjorie Braman

shows why being an editor and being at a tradpub (traditional publisher) are not inevitably intertwined.

I would guess most people become editors because they like editing. 😉 However, like many other jobs, there has been a lot of “mission creep”…they want you to do things beyond the core purpose. Editors may be expected to be more acquisition artists than people who actually help craft books.

We may see more cases of editors leaving tradpubs to get back to basics…

“We have now reached perusing altitude…”

We may finally be getting close to the FAA officially changing the rules to allow us to read on electronic devices during takeoff and landing.

I’ve been writing about that ban off and on for years…I found posts on the forum where I talk about it back in early 2009. 🙂

It simply doesn’t make sense that having an electronic device on in a plane, especially in “airplane mode”, would affect the avionics…and I’ve read that it isn’t the case. If you could download a book and crash the plane, do you think they would let you have them in the cabin? “Certainly, sir, you can have that giant Acme bomb on the plane…just don’t set it off.” 😉

I’ve heard some justifications for the rule…one is that takeoffs and landings are the most dangerous part, and they don’t want people to be distracted. I’ve even been on flights where they had us put away all reading materials, including paper.

However, they could still ask you to do that if the situation warranted it.

According to this

CBS Baltimore article

the decision will likely be made by the end of September, and new rules could go into effect in 2014 (which is quite soon).

I’d be happy about it. 🙂

Right now, I do follow the rules (I’m big on that), so it would be nice to be able to read while staying within the guidelines. On my last trip, I actually bought a paper magazine to read for take-offs and landings, but I would have preferred not to do that, given a choice.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Kindle app has outlasted the hardware

Amazon made a Kindle for Blackberry app available in 2010…and now, BB users have to be worried that the device might not stick around.

ABC news story by Joanna Stern

There certainly are adherents for the device, but I always say that market leaders lose that position when they underestimate the loyalty of their customers (not when they underestimate their competition…a common assessment which I think is not always accurate).

Okay, yes, when I polled my readers a few years back, zero percent of them picked the Blackberry app as their favorite way to read Kindle books, but there must be some people who do. 😉

I believe the Kindle for HP Touchpad had outlived that device (in terms of new sales in the marketplace) by that point.

Amazon adapts to changing conditions…not everybody does.

Is fiction ever the best way to learn something?

I have to think about my own question. I would certainly say that I’ve become interested in some topics because of fiction…but I’m not sure it’s how I really learned about something very often.

I thought this was a hilarious

article in The Guardian by Shaun Walker

deftly refuting “Russia’s children’s ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov”.

The latter apparently opposes sex education in Russian schools, saying that the kids can learn everything they need to know about love and sex from Russian classic literature.

Think about classic literature from anywhere…what makes the drama isn’t always what makes healthy relationships.

Walker cleverly cites some examples from Russian classics…I recommend the article.

Russia does have a wonderful literary history, and its people continue to love books.

I even took three and a half years of Russian in high school, partially to read works in Russian (although I was more interested in their non-fiction at that point).

I remember very little of it, but I am told I have a decent accent when I do speak a few words. 🙂

Oh, let me digress to tell a proud story about my kid, who is a linguist.

Recently, my kid was flying to Germany for work…and the bilingual (at least) flight attendants spoke to my kid in German…and to everybody else in that area in English. Apparently, they thought my kid was a native speaker. 🙂

Anyway, back to Russia…


Russia Beyond the Headlines article by Alena Tveritina

shows the great diversity of small Russian bookstores, and how clever they are in innovating and adding flavor. I would think these same stores would be the kind that might survive in the USA (although I’m guessing the internet/e-book competition is not as strung in Russia as it is here).

One of my favorite ideas one of them has is that people can pay a monthly fee of about $8 to borrow books. In other words, it’s sort of like a private library built along a Netflix model.

You’d have to really manage your stock to make that work, and probably only allow people to actually take one book out of the store at a time (but to read as much as they want in the store).

It would be tough to make that work where the rents are high, but I can see it being pretty effectively in a more rural area where entertainment options are more limited.

What do you think? Would it scare you to read your Kindle during takeoff and landing? Have you ever seen anybody else violating that rule…and did you ever see them get caught? Did you read the Animorphs books? Are you comfortable being seen reading “below your age”? Did a fiction book ever really serve as an education for you (as opposed to just getting you interested, or modeling actions or emotions)? Did the headline on this make me seem like any less of a prude to you? No? Didn’t think so. 😉 Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

One Response to “Round up #207: Russian sex education, the mile high book club”

  1. Kari Morandi Says:

    The Animorphs! I read those way past the time my son had “outgrown” them. One problem is that he was (and still is) fanatical about reading series books in order, and since we were getting them at the library and they either didn’t have the next one he wanted checked out or they didn’t have it at all, he gave up reading those.

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